A Car for all seasons – Summer car care
Driving changes with the seasons, from the ice and snow of the winter (see our winter driving tips) to the bright sunshine of the summer, so you need to make sure that your car is ready for the summer challenges. It doesn’t take long to prepare your car for the summer, but it can have serious consequences for your comfort and safety if you don’t.
Caring for your car in summer
Summer is a great time to drive, with dry, safe roads, clear visibility and improved performance from most cars in the warmer weather. Winding down the windows, cranking up the stereo and heading off is one of the great treats of the summer. However, summer driving does have its dangers, and you should take care to prepare for them:
Our top tips for summer driving
Get your aircon serviced – most cars are now equipped with air-conditioning as standard but the system do need regular servicing and the refrigerant will need topping up. There’s nothing worse than going out on a very hot day only to find your aircon has become lacklustre. Get the servicing booked in early, then you can relax as the temperatures soar.
Bugs on the windscreen – Your windscreen can get dirtier in the summer than the winter, especially if bugs get smeared by your windscreen wipers. A dirty screen can be hazardous in bright sunshine or in a low sun, so make sure your screen wash is topped up regularly with a summer mixture.
Overheating – Check your radiator coolant levels regularly to avoid your car overheating if you are stuck in traffic in hot weather. If you do overheat, remember to let your engine cool down before adding more water or coolant.
Traffic jams – Your car is not the only thing that can overheat if you get snarled up in traffic over the summer. You and your passengers will soon get hot and bothered if you do not have water or other drinks with you.
Flat battery – Remember that air conditioning will drain your battery pretty quickly, as will your stereo and even basic fans, if you are stuck in traffic. It is well worth getting your battery checked before you discover a problem the hard way.
Sunglasses – Make sure you always have your sunglasses with you in case the weather turns bright. It is well worth buying a second pair just for the car to make sure they are always handy if you need them unexpectedly.
Tyre tread – Summer sunshine can make roads greasy, especially if there has been a long dry spell followed by a sudden summer, so you need your tyres to be in good shape to perform well under these conditions. If there is a tyre that is starting to wear, you should get it changed sooner rather than later.
With just these few simple summer maintenance checks, you can enjoy a great summer of sunshine driving without any problems.